The role of leaders at the top is changing. They are no longer the “boss” as they used to be, the person in charge of an organization with a clear reporting line to their board of directors. Their formal authority and power has declined in this age of interdependency. This affects their leadership in three fundamental ways. Their leadership has become more trans-organizational. Trans-organizational…
Leadership is mobilizing others to take responsibility for necessary changes . But who is able to mobilize others? Who turns out to be the ‘natural’ leader of a group ? Who is the Nelson Mandela of each group ? Scientific studies have shown time and again that it is the person who best represents the ‘we – feeling’ . The man or woman who is most ' prototypical '…
It was an important moment in my career as corporate HR specialist in a large industrial organisation. I was leading a competency management project and got half an hour to present my results to the HR management team. The HR director Peter* was the former operations director. He was appointed to bring order and efficiency in HR and was sceptic about new HR projects. I was well…
This picture* illustrates two important assets of clusters of networks: closure & brokerage. Brokerage is the unique connection between different networks. Brokers bring diversity. They connect different perspectives and make innovation and creativity possible. Closure is making networks closed and intense. Within a closed network people know and trust each other. They think…
Caroline Gennez (former chairperson of SP.A) and Marianne Thyssen (former chairperson of CD&V) both balanced and went over the Glass Cliff. Gwendolyn Rutten (candidate to become the next chairperson of  Open-Vld) might become the next victim of that Cliff. The Glass Cliff is not the same as the Glass Ceiling. The latter is the underrepresentation of women at the highest…
There's a silent revolution going on in more traditional organisations. Matrix structures, communities, and projects distribute leadership throughout the organization and make the formal organograms fluid. On top of that, the boundaries between external and internal  become permeable. This revolution enables speed and flexibility. In earlier posts we discussed the impact on middle…
Psychologists and sociologists agree: people connect through similarities and dislike differences. Organisations and teams always tend to become more homogeneous over time, because we just don’t like ‘other things’. They disturb us. “Management teams are clone machines”, concluded Vanwitteloostuijn his research on top management team diversity[i]. They tend to shut up…